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Preschoolers’ Understanding of a Teachable Agent-Based Game in Early Mathematics as Reflected in their Gaze Behaviors – : an Experimental Study

Gulz, Agneta LU ; Londos, Ludvig and Haake, Magnus LU (2020) In International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education
Abstract

This study investigated how preschool children processed and understood critical information in Magical Garden, a teachable agent-based play-&-learn game targeting early math. We analyzed 36 children’s (ages 4–6 years) real-time behavior during game-use to explore whether children: (i) processed the information meant to support number sense development; (ii) showed an understanding of the teachable agent as an entity with agency. An important methodological goal was to go beyond observable behavior and shed some light on how cognitive processing and understanding in children of such young age can be studied. First, the children played Magical Garden for three weeks to get acquainted with the game. Second, in an experimental part of... (More)

This study investigated how preschool children processed and understood critical information in Magical Garden, a teachable agent-based play-&-learn game targeting early math. We analyzed 36 children’s (ages 4–6 years) real-time behavior during game-use to explore whether children: (i) processed the information meant to support number sense development; (ii) showed an understanding of the teachable agent as an entity with agency. An important methodological goal was to go beyond observable behavior and shed some light on how cognitive processing and understanding in children of such young age can be studied. First, the children played Magical Garden for three weeks to get acquainted with the game. Second, in an experimental part of the study, the children’s gaze behaviors were measured during 5 rounds of interaction with an experimental version of one of the sub-games. The analyses suggest that two of the gaze behaviors were positively correlated with the game performance measure, as hypothesized. Another result was that children looked at the teachable agent significantly more often when the teachable agent had been in charge of gameplay than when it had not. This can be interpreted as an indication that the children had an understanding of their teachable agent as an entity that, like themselves and unlike other dynamic visual elements in the game, made decisions based on own ‘knowledge’. In a broader context, the findings are important in showing the potential gains of combining log data with eye-tracking data for developing and refining AI algorithms for adaptive individual feedback and scaffolding.

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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Early math, Eye-tracking, Number sense, Preschoolers, Teachable agent
in
International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education
publisher
International AIED Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85079381618
ISSN
1560-4292
DOI
10.1007/s40593-020-00193-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3dab80f5-7e6e-4032-8a0b-e6e329182be0
date added to LUP
2020-02-28 12:36:44
date last changed
2020-09-30 06:35:26
@article{3dab80f5-7e6e-4032-8a0b-e6e329182be0,
  abstract     = {<p>This study investigated how preschool children processed and understood critical information in Magical Garden, a teachable agent-based play-&amp;-learn game targeting early math. We analyzed 36 children’s (ages 4–6 years) real-time behavior during game-use to explore whether children: (i) processed the information meant to support number sense development; (ii) showed an understanding of the teachable agent as an entity with agency. An important methodological goal was to go beyond observable behavior and shed some light on how cognitive processing and understanding in children of such young age can be studied. First, the children played Magical Garden for three weeks to get acquainted with the game. Second, in an experimental part of the study, the children’s gaze behaviors were measured during 5 rounds of interaction with an experimental version of one of the sub-games. The analyses suggest that two of the gaze behaviors were positively correlated with the game performance measure, as hypothesized. Another result was that children looked at the teachable agent significantly more often when the teachable agent had been in charge of gameplay than when it had not. This can be interpreted as an indication that the children had an understanding of their teachable agent as an entity that, like themselves and unlike other dynamic visual elements in the game, made decisions based on own ‘knowledge’. In a broader context, the findings are important in showing the potential gains of combining log data with eye-tracking data for developing and refining AI algorithms for adaptive individual feedback and scaffolding.</p>},
  author       = {Gulz, Agneta and Londos, Ludvig and Haake, Magnus},
  issn         = {1560-4292},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  publisher    = {International AIED Society},
  series       = {International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education},
  title        = {Preschoolers’ Understanding of a Teachable Agent-Based Game in Early Mathematics as Reflected in their Gaze Behaviors – : an Experimental Study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40593-020-00193-4},
  doi          = {10.1007/s40593-020-00193-4},
  year         = {2020},
}